Video game giant
Electronic Arts Inc.
) and Funcom recently released the PC version of their massively
multiplayer online ("MMO") game,
The Secret World
. The new MMO from EA's stable takes gamers around the world, where
they join with secret societies (Dragon, Templar, Illuminati) to
fight against evil forces that include zombies, vampires, and
mummies. All these pulsating actions take place in the modern day
The popularity of the game can be gauged by its robust count of
1.5 million gamers who had registered for the beta testing,
according to Funcom. The game is available through Origin, EA's
digital platform. With the release of
The Secret World
, EA would not only add another game to its portfolio, but will
also solidify its position in the MMO gaming market. The game is
priced at $49.99.
Another MMO from EA's stable,
Star Wars: The Old Republic
("SWTOR"), had enjoyed a massive response following its release.
Two million units of the game were sold instantly. The game
registered 1.7 million active users at the end of December
However, since then there has been a substantial decline in the
subscriber base which dipped to 1.3 million at the end of March 31,
2012. This has compelled the company to introduce a free version of
the game which lets gamers reach to the 15th level. This move is
expected to provide the necessary boost to the subscriber base.
EA has been facing tough competition from
Activision Blizzard Inc.
World of Warcraft
, which boasts one of the biggest subscriber counts among the
present generation of MMOs. It has a subscriber base of over 10.2
Moreover, the emergence of free-to-play MMOs by social game
) has also been eating into EA's market share. Additionally, EA has
a portfolio of free-to-play MMO's, which might cannibalize the
sales of the paid version of the games.
Overall, we remain cautious on the company due to the gloomy
macro-economic environment and increasing competition from its
peers. However, we believe EA's high-quality titles and a robust
product pipeline along with the increasing online exposure and
traction in the social and mobile gaming market are the long-term
positive catalysts. Thus, we have a Neutral recommendation on EA
over the long term.
Currently, EA has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating
in the short term.
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